Iraq 0
4 December 2019

A senior U.S. diplomat contended that “the demonstrations [in Iraq] are fueled by anger arising from the results of Iran’s destabilising influence. As recently as this weekend, Iran’s IRGC-QF (or IRGC Qod[s] force) commander, Qasem Soleimani… was widely reported to have been in Baghdad once again meeting with, threatening, and cajoling politicians. This is just the type of unacceptable interference Iraqis are protesting in the streets”. He added that “people are demanding an end to Iran’s mafioso rules, such as arming terrorist groups like Kataeb Hizbollah, calling the shots among political party bosses, dumping agricultural goods on Iraqi markets and peddling counterfeit or expired pharmaceuticals”. “Iraqis increasingly view Iran as having coopted and exploited Iraq’s political system, its economy and its security at the expense of the Iraqi people, and this has clearly made Iran nervous”, the official further asserted. He additionally noted that “we will not hesitate to use all the tools at our disposal, including designations under the Global Magnitsky Act, to sanction corrupt individuals who are stealing the public wealth of the Iraqi people and those killing and wounding peaceful protesters”.

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